Highly Contagious Influenza Virus

Highly Contagious Influenza Virus

As of May 2022, a highly contagious influenza virus continues to wreak havoc on domestic bird flocks across the United States. Millions of chickens and other fowl are dying or being killed to stop the spread of an HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza) – to date, the H5N1 variant has been detected as the dominant strain.




There are four species of influenza viruses: A, B, C, and D.

Human influenza A and B viruses cause seasonal epidemics of disease (known as the flu season). Influenza A viruses are the only influenza viruses known to cause flu pandemics and are responsible for most cases of severe illness of “the flu”. Influenza A viruses are divided into subtypes based on the two surface proteins of the virus: hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N) with different combinations of subtypes of H and N, such as H5N1, H1N1, and H3N2.

Influenza outbreaks are cyclical and are known to peak and subside with time. The outbreak of the HPAI in the U.S. right now is peaking and growing to be the worst on record.  According to Food Safety News (1), the 2015 outbreak affected 48 million poultry birds where three variants were detected, the H5N1, H5N2, and the H5N8 (2).  The 2022 H5N1 outbreak is showing to be quite virulent spreading rapidly through flocks in multiple States. In an already unstable food and supply chain network that is recovering from the impacts of the COVID pandemic, the 2022 avian flu outbreak can have negative impacts on an already stressed system as death and culling numbers continue to climb.

These outbreaks are not limited to the U.S. and are seen regularly worldwide. They affect more than poultry and humans as swine-specific viruses (H1N1) have been known to impact food supplies and cross over to infect humans. The H5N1 avian flu virus along with several other variants have been reported by the Agriculture and Consumer Production Department throughout the world (3). The Global AIV with Zoonotic Potential Situation Update is primarily limited to livestock and wild animals, while the influenza virus in humans continues to be closely monitored and surveilled weekly by organizations such as the CDC (4)

Detection and surveillance of these HPAI strains continue to be at the forefront of virology and infectious disease research. From bench to diagnostics to antiviral therapies, the development of more sensitive and sophisticated detection systems and more effective therapies in both humans and animals will become increasingly important.

For  17 years ProSci has been providing researchers with several tools to help aid in the research and detection of influenza virus and their respective structural components:

Antibodies are raised against specific strains to match the characterization of surface proteins, utilizing recombinant proteins or corresponding peptides of the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase proteins.  Antibodies, detection sets, recombinant proteins, and custom antibody services are available to push your research forward.

Explore ProSci’s catalog of influenza reagents or get in contact with Prosci’s antibody experts to help you find the right reagent for your project.

Monkeypox Virus: A breakthrough in Scientific News

Monkeypox Virus: A breakthrough in Scientific News

The monkeypox virus that has been reported in mainstream and scientific news is part of the Orthopoxvirus genus that closely resembles smallpox (variola) virus. (1) The genetic code of monkeypox is similar enough to smallpox that known vaccines, such as those developed against the vaccinia virus, as well as anti-viral treatments are found to be effective in dampening its spread and adverse physiological effects. (2)

As reported by Nature on May 28th(3),  the impact on human health is concerning but it is the unusual spread of the disease that is perking curiosity amongst researchers. For decades this virus had been contained to animal populations with limited transmission to humans in Central and Eastern Africa. It has been recently identified to be spreading in humans and in countries around the world where the virus was not previously identified. Epidemiologists are working diligently to determine the causes of the abnormal distribution of the virus.

The poxviruses are interesting research targets. The risk of viruses evolving is always present, and as reported by Nature even small outbreaks (in comparison to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic) present some risk of a virus mutating. “The monkeypox genome is enormous relative to that of many other viruses — it is more than six times as large as the genome for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. That means they’re at least “six times harder to analyze”, says Rachel Roper, a virologist at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.” (2) Andrea McCollum, an epidemiologist from the CDC added “All of the new attention on monkeypox has laid bare just how much scientists have yet to understand about the virus, McCollum says. “When this has all settled down, I think we’ll have to think long and hard about where the research priorities are.”

ProSci supports infectious disease researchers with several tools to help advance discoveries and breakthroughs.

Looking for custom antibodies for your infectious disease targets? Contact ProSci antibody design specialists for your research, therapeutic, and diagnostic projects

Study Shows Young CSF made old mice younger

Breaking Research News: Study Shows Young CSF made old mice younger

A recent study published in Nature (May 11, 2022) displayed that infusion of young CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) into the brains of aged mice improves their memory function. Young CSF boosts oligodentrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) proliferation and differentiation in aged brains.

  • Young CSF restores oligodendrogenesis and memory in aged mice via FGF17
  • Injection of CSF into aged mice initiates OPC proliferation and strengthens long term memory by use of FGF17

Serum response factor (SRF) is a mediator of OPC proliferation following young CSF exposure. Fibroblast growth factor 17 (FGF17) infusion can induce OPC proliferation and long-term memory strengthening in old mice, while Fgf17 blockage impairs mental processing in young mice.

ProSci Inc. provides high-quality FGF17 proteins and antibodies as well as SRF antibodies for research use.

Interested in developing your own SRF and/or FGF17 antibodies? ProSci offers custom antibody services to help support your research needs! ProSci’s antibody service capability, gained from its extensive antibody-focused R&D, catalog antibody development, and over 20,000 custom antibodies in its 20+ year history, assures confidence and ease to achieve customized antibody success.